North Las Vegas Airport’s neighbor is Nellis Air Force Base and the Air Force has reported 19 intrusions into its RESTRICTED AIRSPACE this year alone. Although these reports will result in pilot deviation investigations, you will face more immediate threats to your safety when you enter a restricted area. Today, more than ever, this very busy RESTRICTED AIRSPACE is used extensively to train fighter pilots. There is the real potential for mid-air collisions. It appears airmen are failing to use basic VFR navigation and map reading skills. Instead, in most circumstances, they are using GPS devices to navigate to and from Las Vegas, NV. When pilots do not look carefully at their charts, have GPS databases that are not current, or have simply de-cluttered their GPS moving map screen so the airspace warning is not displayed, it is too easy to blunder into the RESTRICTED AIRSPACE.
Most of the aircraft that intrude into the Nellis RESTRICTED AIRSPACE are either arriving to or departing from North Las Vegas (VGT) via the US95, Beatty/Tonopah VFR corridor. Remaining well west of US95 between Beatty and Tonopah, and monitoring your navigation aids, will keep your aircraft clear of Nellis Restricted Airspace dangers.
The pilots involved are not monitoring the emergency frequency, 121.5 MHZ and therefore fail to respond to warning calls from the controlling military agency.
The military will scramble aircraft to identify and monitor that intruder. Are you current on your intercept procedures?
The FAA will continue to investigate these incidents and take appropriate enforcement action against the airmen involved. However, we believe educating and informing as many airmen as possible may help decrease the number of occurrences.
This is where we need your assistance. We would like to get the word out to as many airmen as you know to keep this issue in the forefront of your flight planning when flying in/out of the Las Vegas Valley. Plan, verify, then navigate with care.